In a time where we see less connection between the will of peoples and the policies put forward in their name, the world's citizens need representation on the global stage. Democratic initiatives, including the proposal to create a World Parliamentary Assembly, would include all citizens in global decision-making and give voice to currently neglected global public opinion.
Alfred de Zayas, first UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of an Equitable and Democratic International Order, March 2018
It’s my personal experience that Parliamentary Assemblies can work quite effectively, for example within NATO and the OSCE. The United Nations is - and should be - the world’s most important organisation where almost all of the world’s nations and peoples meet. It’s high time that the UN gets its own Parliamentary Assembly.
Harry van Bommel, Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands
Convinced by the Tunisian revolution and the following democratic transition, I was also convinced of the urgent need to create a strong democratic connection between the people and their government. To face the global economic, social and environmental challenges, the international governance system needs a democratic revolution as well. With the support of the people and the necessary democratic legitimacy, elected representatives in a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly could work efficiently to find new global solutions, to fight poverty and the consequences of climate change. We need to act now and implement democratic principles at the largest scale of government if we want them to survive the recent rise of nationalism that is threatening peace and international understanding.
Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh, Former president of the Tunisian Bar Association and a leader of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet which won the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize
Humanity is a community of fate that is increasingly faced with cross-border challenges. That's why global decision-making is inevitable. Through a World Parliament we need to make sure that the emerging world order is democratic and as close to the citizens as possible.
Jens Orback, Secretary General for the Olof Palme International Center (2008-2016) and Minister for Democracy, Metropolitan Affairs, Integration and Gender Equality (2004-2006), Sweden
Free world trade needs a clear political and eco-social framework if it is not to have ruinous effects. Global regulation calls for democratized global institutions based on checks and balances, among them a global parliament. In the long run, this is the only way to protect freedom and its preconditions which are under threat today intertemporally and across national borders. For this it will also be necessary to achieve a serious - and not only bogus - democratization of the world's nation-states.
Prof. Dr. Felix Ekardt, LL.M., M.A., Director of the Research Center on Sustainability and Climate Policy (Leipzig/Berlin) and Professor for Public Law and Legal Philosophy at the University of Rostock. For more than 20 years he has been dealing with global constitutionalization. (2017)
As a long time activist and now a Roma woman elected to the European Parliament, I see the need of democratising the representation of the UN through a UN Parliamentary Assembly. We as peoples of the world need the possibility to be able to directly influence the UN's political agenda and its implementation. It is a matter of our human rights and their full realisation.
Soraya Post, Member of the European Parliament from Sweden, 2017
In the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe I have been working on important cross-border issues together with parliamentarians from other member states and learned a lot from them in the process. A Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations could complement the collaboration of governments in the General Assembly and the UN's various subsidiary bodies with a structured collaboration of parliaments. I consider this to be very useful.
Ute Finckh-Krämer, Member of the German Parliament, 2017
The UN still grants governments a monopoly on the representation of their societies. This monopoly is no longer tenable. A more inclusive system of global democracy is needed. As an important step towards a fundamental transformation of the UN and the development of a democratic world parliament, I support the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly which would give citizen-elected representatives a voice.
Prof. Tim Murithi, Extraordinary Professor of African Studies, Centre for African Studies, University of the Free State, and Head of Programme, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town, South Africa, 2017
Political decision-making procedures need to be democratically legitimate, transparent and accountable. This applies to the global level as well. That's why I support the idea of a Parliamentary Assembly at the UN.
Bärbel Bas, Chief Whip of the Parliamentary Group of the Social Democratic Party in the German Bundestag, 2017
Globalisation is now seen as a threat in many countries. This is, to a large extent, because people feel a sense of powerlessness and have no say or sense of control over global forces. This view is gaining credence, fuelling the growth of populism and extremism and forcing a retreat into narrow forms of identity that undermine cohesion. We therefore need to democratise international bodies and agencies. A citizen-elected UN Parliamentary Assembly will create the opportunity to discuss and influence decisions beyond our borders. This will also help to develop a much greater sense of joint purpose and common humanity and break down the divisions based on nationality, ethnicity and faith that are presently the cause of so many tensions and conflicts.
Ted Cantle, Founder of the Institute of Community Cohesion Foundation; visiting professor at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, 2017